There’s family medicine — and then there’s family medicine.
“I mean, I get teary eyed when they talk about this,” says Dr. Brenda Miller, a family doctor at Sanford Health in Bismarck. “It’s just wonderful.”
Dr. Brenda Miller is a mother of four children — three of whom are also doctors at Sanford. Drs. Andy and John Miller work side by side in Radiology, and Dr. Jess Carlson is a family doctor, just like her mom.
“They went to medical school, sometimes I say, in spite of me,” Brenda says. “In spite of what my hours were at times. But we tried to continue with family time.”
According to her kids, Brenda’s efforts didn’t go unnoticed.
“Our mom went through medical school with four children,” says Andy. “She finished at the top of her class, which is an incredible feat to do.”
John is the oldest Miller child. “I didn’t really remember my mom as a med student,” he explains. “I remember my mom being a mom, and putting us to bed and taking care of us, and doing all the normal things moms do.”
Jess took an interest in her mom’s work at a young age. “I could actually go spend the night in the hospital call room with her sometimes,” she says. “Not because she needed to take me, just because I wanted to go – ‘Oh, let me check this out!'”
It turns out that practicing medicine with your family has its perks. Jess recalls this story: “I had a patient that had a compression fracture in her back, and she was in a lot of pain, and I know Andy does a procedure to help with that, so I called him, I said ‘I’ve got a patient in a lot of pain, can you help out?’ Sent right over, and walked out of the hospital with no pain at all. And we did that within 24 hours. So that was really cool.”
And sometimes, in a profession as demanding as it is rewarding, the comfort of family is just what the doctor ordered.
“I’m just so proud of all my kids, and feel so blessed that we have the family that we do,” Brenda says. “Everyone gets along and likes to hang out together, so I can’t be more proud of my kids.”
Dr. Brenda Miller and her family of doctors are all people you should know.
So maybe you’re wondering: what about Brenda’s fourth child?
That’s Stephanie Miller – the youngest of the family, and a chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu.
She moved back to North Dakota last year to open the restaurant Butterhorn in downtown Bismarck.